Donald Earl St. John

donald st. john

Donald E. St.John


Don St.John passed away peacefully March 27, 2020 at The Eastern Star Masonic Retirement Community. Don leaves behind his loving wife of 60 years Charlene, his daughters Dianne St.John and Pam Smiley, and his son-in-law J Smiley. He also leaves behind 5 grandchildren Kari Roper, (Andrew) Jeff Gieck (Jennifer Ashley), Kim McNulty (Chadd), Kristine Smiley-Smola (PJ), and Alison Smiley (Alex), 5 great-grandchildren (Jackson, Austin, Luke, Ava and Kylie), one great-grandchild due in June, and finally his loving sisters Mamie Consolver and Dorie Ring.  Don had many nieces, nephews and friends who will also miss him dearly. His little dog, Sophie, will also miss him so much. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Charles (Chuck) St.John and Wesley (Wes) St.John.


Don (aka "The Duck" or "Ducky") was born on April 29,1935 at St.Anthony's Hospital in Denver, CO to Wesley St.John and Emma St.John (Robbins). Don spent time living in Frasier and Breckenridge, Colorado, as well as in Denver, at times in The Denver Boys Home. He graduated from South High School in 1953 and joined the USMC in October 1954. Don and Char married on March 5, 1960 and raised their family in Southeast Denver (University Hills) living in the same house from 1963 until the fall of 2019. The two recently celebrated their 60 years of marriage with root beer floats and Wendy's cheeseburgers. Don worked in the oil refinery industry in Commerce City for 44 years (1958-2002). He was originally employed as the janitor in 1958 and then as a laborer until 1975 when he was given a management position. From 1975 until his retirement at age 67, Don held the positions of Personnel and Safety Director until the company sold to Asamera Oil when he became the Corporate Director of Personnel. Eventually, Asamera sold to Total Petroleum and he became The Industrial Relations Manager until his retirement from the final company, Valero.


Don and Charlene spent a great deal of their time loving their grandchildren and numerous dogs over the past 40+ years. In addition, they owned property in Crystal Lakes, CO spending many long weekends in the high country of Colorado. Don loved the mountains and spending time at "Blue Jay Base" hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, riding ATV's, fishing, dancing, and being involved on community boards. In addition, Don and Char both were members of The Optimist Club volunteering hundreds of hours spreading kindness in the community, especially for school-aged children in the metro area. A number of years ago, Don was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis and Dementia and unfortunately this took a toll on his mind and body over the past few years. The family is grateful for all of the love and kindness he shared with us over his nearly 85 years of life and we are at peace that he is free from the diseases, which debilitated him in recent years. We are also so thankful for the many in-home caregivers, the caregivers at ESMRC Memory Care, and Compassus Hospice for their tireless hours of care for Don.


Donations in Don's Memory can be sent to:


Optimist International Foundation (Payable to this organization)

c/o Greg Young

3983 S. Olive St

Denver, CO 80237


A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date.


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Memories Timeline


  1. Char, sorry for the loss of Don. My memories go back to many trails hiked with both of you, hiking with the Malley group.
    Bob Land

  2. Charlene and family – – so sorry to hear about Don – – you had many beautiful years together in Univ Hills, and you and I had many years together at Thomas Jefferson H.S.   Take care of yourself, and know that I can share your sorrow.

    Rosann Markano

  3. Dianne…I am so sorry to hear about your dad.  You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Char, My condolences on Don's passing. I enjoyed taking him (and you) on rides at Eastern Star. You are in my prayers.
    Dae Kloosterman 

  5. Char, although I wasn't given the opportunity to get to know your cherished husband very well, I do remember you both out on the makeshift dance floor with John and me at the Slaby's party! You were both so cute and smiling briefly while enjoying your dance. During these times of isolation due to covid makes it even more difficult when the need for family and friends is even greater. I always find words to be inadequate during times of loss of a dear loved one but please feel my love, hugs, and my words saying I'm so sorry!

  6. Char and family.  When my husband transferred to the refinery from the down office "The Duck" was the first person he saw.  "The Duck" welcomed him with open arms.  Don was the most kindness  person you would ever meet  Even when we could come back for a visit we had to say HI.  He was one special guy. Our deepest condolences    

  7. Dear Char,
    How sorry I am to learn you have lost Don. I have so many good memories of Malley hikes with both of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    With deepest sympathy, Virgene Buthman

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